Enya WilliamsIndustrial Design & Technology BA
Little Big Finds
Citizen science is a useful 'tool for undertaking research and monitoring, engaging the public in the activity of gathering visual and anecdotal data, often used by Biodiversity Record Keeping bodies. Due to the diversity of available schemes there are many ways for volunteers to be a part of doing real science. Initial research pointed out the need for a system which monitoring teams can adapt to their needs, standardising the way schemes are presented. Little Big Finds is rooted in the need to provide children with deeper sense of connection with Wildlife by sparking that initial interest. Intended to be a sustainable platform, it was developed with users in mind, through a series of school workshops and contact with the National Wildlife Trust. The proposed design challenges children to take control of their learning experience by teaching practical skills of making, fostering a closer connection with the natural environment, and providing a platform for reciprocal learning. Playing on the use of transects in monitoring wildlife, children mark out their own 'Square', this will be replicated digitally with the App. Activities curated by the users and Wildlife Trusts challenge them explore and record the wildlife within the Square. As different localities will make different discoveries, the concept focusses on using Self-Directed learning principles to encourage children to pursue their own learning journeys. Makerscopes are a series of a 3D printed compound Microscopes. Intended as a cheap and accessible way for Primary School classes to have a closer look at the natural world. The Makerscopes provide a crucial element of ownership. Built by children, their purpose is to teach practical skills of assembly and an experiential knowledge of how things work.